Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 31 May 2016

Home News World

Obama calls for soldier's release

Published 01/08/2014

President Barack Obama has called for an Israeli soldier apparently kidnapped by Hamas to be released (AP)
President Barack Obama has called for an Israeli soldier apparently kidnapped by Hamas to be released (AP)
John Kerry described the alleged abduction as 'barbaric'. (AP Photo/Saurabh Das)

President Barack Obama has called for the unconditional and immediate release of an Israeli soldier who was apparently captured in a clash with Hamas militants.

Mr Obama said it will be difficult to put back together the ceasefire between Hamas and Israel that collapsed. But he said the US will continue working toward a ceasefire. He said Israel committed to the ceasefire, but the ceasefire was violated.

Mr Obama says it is heartbreaking to see what is happening in Gaza and wants to see everything possible done to ensure Palestinian civilians are not killed.

He warned that Israel must be able to defend itself, but that irresponsible actions by Hamas have put civilians in danger.

The truce was brokered by the US and UN but collapsed less than two hours after it began.

Secretary of State John Kerry denounced as "outrageous" the militant attack that killed two Israeli soldiers and led to the alleged abduction.

"If they are serious about trying to resolve this situation, that soldier needs to be unconditionally released as soon as possible," Mr Obama told reporters at the White House. He said putting the ceasefire back together would be difficult without the release.

"It's going to be very hard to put a ceasefire back together again if Israelis and the international community can't feel confident that Hamas can follow through on a ceasefire commitment," he said.

At the same time, he called the situation in Gaza "heartbreaking" and repeated calls for Israel to do more to prevent Palestinian civilian casualties.

"Innocent civilians caught in the crossfire have to weigh on our conscience, and we have to do more," Mr Obama said.

From the web

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting?

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph